Piece of My Heart
He was still waiting, leaning against the wall when Dorothyís roommate left their dorm. On seeing him, the girl stopped and gave a snort. She locked the door and pulled her coat closer about her body before facing him.
"Sheís not here. So why donít you go home."
Quatre shook his head. "She called me..."
"And you were too busy to come see her. She needed you last night, jackass." The girl, Mariam he thought her name was, dropped her key ring into her purse and closed it with a snap. "Had to take care of things herself."
"I had a final and I told her Iíd..." he started to protest and stopped speaking suddenly. His mouth opened and closed, and Quatre took a step forward. "Take care of things?" he asked softly.
The girl snorted again, turning away from him. "Yeah, you know. A girlís got to take care of herself these days."
"Whatíd she do?" he was demanding of her, his hand squeezing her arm through her coat.
"Hey!" the girlís voice was loud and drew the attention of others in the hall, from their rooms. Jerking her arm free, she took several steps back. "Youíll have to ask her when she comes back." And then she was turning from him, walking quickly away.
Quatre watched her go, listened to her footfalls on the stairs, hope withering with each sound. He moved aside for a resident, his mind still on the call. Dorothy had been upset. Dorothy had been crying. But Dorothy didnít cry. But then, Dorothy had never been pregnant before. He was going to be a father.
He slid down the wall, hugged his legs, and dropped his head to his knees. His options were narrowed to one. Now it was a matter of making the arrangements. Ideas and plans swirled and it took her saying his name twice for Quatre to realize Dorothy had come home.
"You might as well come inside," she was saying, opening the door and moving away from him. He followed slowly, working the pins and needles from his feet, shutting the door behind them. She had tossed her purse and keys on her desk, and he watched as she slipped the scarf from her neck.
"Thanksgiving week begins the twentieth," he said, her fingers stilled on the buttons of her coat. "We can get married then, find a little apartment off-campus..."
"No." Her coat was off now, and she draped it over the back of her desk chair.
"I... I could go to work for my dad, then," Quatre moved closer, coming to stand behind her, reaching for her.
Dorothy pulled away, turning to face him. "You donít have to worry about it anymore." Her eyes were cold, hard and Quatre was torn - move away or touch her and break. "I took care of it myself."
He gaped at her and shook his head slowly. "No... no Dorothy, no..."
"Yes, Quatre. And now, I think it best for you to never come back again." She picked up her coat, went to the closet and hung it from a hanger. "Go back to your daddy and your safe little world. Find some nice girl to have your family with."
And he left, not aware of the tears until the November wind chilled them on his face.